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Main contact: Erin Murdoch
Tel: 01465714729 · Z1 Youth Bar, 154 Dalrymple Street, Girvan, KA26 9BQ

Girvan Youth Trust (GYT) is a youth driven, community owned, grassroots organisation. The main aim of the Trust is to enhance the quality of life for local young people in Girvan & the surrounding 7 rural villages. GYT provides multiple diversionary opportunities for young people in a social and educational dimension using a diverse range of activities to engage with young people and support them to achieve their full potential. The Trust currently operates Z1 Youth Bar, 5 days and 6 evenings a week, engaging and supporting in excess of 200 local young people. 

The Trust has been working for the past 20 years with disadvantaged young people who suffer social and rural exclusion. By working with partner agencies, GYT has expanded its services to include; a Peer Buddying Project supporting 40 local young people with additional support needs, Primary/Secondary School Initiatives, Informal Drop In’s, Literacy Support, 1 to 1 Support with Practical Life-skills, Placements and Training for young volunteers, Awareness Workshops, Community Enhancement Projects, a Detached Youth Work Project and a number of Social Enterprises run by young and adult volunteers. 

The provision and operation of this ‘One Stop Shop’ centre also provides GYT and our partnership youth service providers with a unique, youth friendly and full time focal base in which to consolidate and develop our statutory and voluntary youth services. 

The structure of our  ‘Life’s a Journey’ project links together experiential learning, personal development and volunteering & leadership opportunities currently provided by GYT and allows staff to work with and support individuals and groups under 3 programme headings. We endeavour to work with young people in a ‘stages rather than ages’ approach, encouraging and supporting them to progress and develop when they are truly ready. It is imperative that any work we develop is fun and exciting as well as challenging and it is evidenced that many young people learn not only from a place of knowledge or experience but also by stealth. 

In supporting and encouraging the engagement and participation of young people; including the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and regardless of their individual skill set, abilities or experience, to recognise and achieve their potential from both an informal and formal perspective. The long term aims of the project are to increase confidence, resilience, self-worth and readiness for work and it also provides the more disadvantaged local young people with a unique option of gaining learning and training experience within the local voluntary sector and the wider local community. 

 At present, our Solo/Mentoring Programme is available to young people who require a higher and more intense level of support in one or more areas of their personal development such as confidence and self-worth, literacy support, disengaged in education, practical life skills and interpersonal skills. Solo uses a ‘Self Directed Learning’ approach to formulate learning goals; using the model of ‘Learning with a Purpose’ to encourage and enable them to develop their confidence; to become more independent in their everyday lives. We aim to increase our HR capacity and thereby our depth and range of offered support by creating a bank of local adult volunteer ‘mentors’. This will allow increased focus support in areas such as practical life skills, personal and interpersonal skills.